Architect Rawley McCoy will be Victoria’s next mayor after winning more than 51% of all votes cast in Saturday’s local election, according to the unofficial results.
McCoy’s outright win is a surprise given the crowded field for the mayor’s seat. McCoy ran against three other candidates, and most in Victoria assumed a runoff was certain. Victoria’s mayor must be elected with more than 50% of the vote to take office.
"It feels overwhelming. You think it's a possibility, but you never want to go there," McCoy said about winning the mayor's seat. "I'm looking forward to taking that mantle Tuesday."
With more than 2,600 votes behind him, McCoy will be able to take office without a runoff once Saturday’s unofficial results are certified. McCoy led the runner-up in the race, Vic Morgan, by more than 25 percentage points.
Morgan, the former president of the University of Houston-Victoria, received 25% of votes. Insurance agent Brent Carter received 17% of votes, and financial adviser Steve Meacham received almost 6% of votes.
McCoy took a sizable lead in early voting, and that margin held up as the final votes came in at 9:30 p.m.
McCoy took 53% of votes from people who voted early or by mail in Saturday’s elections.
In total, almost 6,000 people cast a ballot for Victoria's next mayor, considerably more votes cast than in the last two mayoral races/
Among early voters, Morgan took about 25% of the vote. Carter had about 15%, and Meacham had about 6%.
McCoy, 68, is an architect and the founder of Rawley McCoy and Associates.
All four candidates vying to be Victoria’s next mayor largely focused their message to voters on economic development in Victoria and how to spur new investment in the community, as well as solutions to improve the city’s aging streets and other infrastructure.
Throughout his campaign, McCoy pointed to his lifetime of work in Victoria, creating a business and working on some of the Crossroads’ most well-known buildings.
Morgan, who spent several years working to grow UHV, said Saturday night that he enjoyed running his campaign.
"I appreciate the people that supported me and am thankful for the help," Morgan said. "I certainly want to wish Rawley McCoy well in his service as mayor."
Carter said in a phone interview Saturday night that he wished McCoy "nothing but the best."
"My job now is to get behind him 100%," Carter said. "I wish Rawley McCoy God speed and great success."
Although local elections traditionally have abysmal turnout rates, the early voting results show slightly higher turnout than past local elections. In the last mayoral election in 2016, just 2,436 people cast a ballot for mayor. Polasek defeated challenger Richard DeAses in that race. In 2013, more than 5,000 people voted in the mayor’s race, which had five candidates.